Former Disney CFO Criticizes Bob Iger for This Big Mistake

Bob Iger’s job probably isn’t easy to begin with, but he’s got quite a tough task ahead of him: find his successor.


It’s something that we’ve been talking about ever since he first returned to Disney, and though we can’t say for certain, it doesn’t seem like Iger is any closer to finding his replacement. Plenty of speculation has gone around about who may potentially be in the running, but he’s running out of time if he’s to pick and train someone to run a giant multimedia corporation before his 2026 exit. And, a former Disney executive thinks he’s going to have a hard time doing it. 

When Iger returned, he made it clear that this would be his last hurrah. But, he did promise he would be intimately involved in the search and training of his successor who will take over as CEO after his contract ends in 2026. Iger’s successor is a major concern for both fans and investors, and former Disney Chief Financial Officer, Gary Wilson, thinks Iger may have shot himself in the foot.


Wilson told the Wall Street Journal, “Iger has systematically eliminated any executive who could become a successor. To me, it’s a real black mark on Iger’s record.” Now an investor, former CFO Wilson spent 21 years on Disney’s board, including first hiring Iger as CEO.

Several potential replacement candidates left Disney during Iger’s first round as CEO, until he finally chose — and championed — Bob Chapek to take his place.

Bob Chapek and Bob Iger ©CNBC

But, it was only a few years later that Chapek was forced out and Iger was back in. We later learned that Iger apparently regretted choosing Chapek as his successor, despite the fact that Iger himself chose, trained, and touted Chapek.

Reportedly Iger said that he didn’t realize Chapek was “such a ‘novice’ when it came to handling complex issues like talent management and political battles, and that Chapek was arrogant and uninterested in other people’s opinions.”


After he was no longer with Disney, Chapek reportedly remarked that his time at the company was “about three years of hell, defined by one overriding theme: his unrelenting fear that Iger wanted his job back.”

Unfortunately for Chapek, he was right.

Bob Chapek

Now that Iger is back, he’s tasked with once again choosing a replacement to lead one of the world’s largest media companies, with Board approval and the help of a Succession Planning Committee we haven’t heard about in ages. Hopefully, that means they’re hard at work trying to figure out who is going to steer this behemoth of a ship.

Multiple names have been tossed into the ring, but it’s possible that Wilson’s theory is correct: Iger may have a hard time finding someone to take his place who won’t be fearful of ending up like Chapek.


Of course, it’s also possible that Iger could go back on his word and extend his contract since we know that’s kind of his whole thing. As far as potential replacements still in the running, analysts think it will either be Dana Walden (current co-chair of Disney Entertainment) or Kevin Mayer (former chair of Direct-to-Consumer at Disney and current CEO of Candle Media).

Neither Disney nor Iger have made any mention of the succession plan in a while, but we could hear an update at the upcoming first-quarter earnings call on February 7th, 2024.

©Disney | Walt Disney Company Headquarters

We’ll continue to be on the lookout for more updates about Iger’s succession plan, so stay tuned to the Disney Food Blog if you want to stay in the loop!

Bob Iger Makes $31.6 Million. But That’s Not the Most Shocking Part.

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!


Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!

Do you think this was Iger’s biggest mistake? Tell us in the comments.

The post Former Disney CFO Criticizes Bob Iger for This Big Mistake first appeared on the disney food blog.